… when you’re citing your pro-Israel bona fides.
That’s essentially what Marine Le Pen did in announcing her Washington visit this week.
Le Pen, the head of the Front National and a contender in next year’s French presidential race, is stuck in an Elektra-like death embrace with her father, Jean-Marie, who founded the party partly by sowing contempt for Jews.
Marine says she loves the dear old Holocaust denier, but also repudiates the anti-Jewish tone he brought to the polity.
To that end, she says she’s going to visit the Holocaust Museum when she comes to Washington this week.
(Spokesman Andy Hollinger tells me that she did not give advance notice of her arrival, and will be treated like any other visitor; no VIP tours. Which makes me, for the first time ever, slightly more important than a potential leader of a major power.)
In case you had any doubts, the younger Le Pen’s release is chock-a-block with philo-Semitism:
While in Washington D.C., she will visit the National Holocaust Museum to pay her respects to the over six million Jews who unnecessarily lost their lives* at the hands of Nazi Germany. Marine Le Pen stands with the nation of Israel and strongly repudiates Neo-Nazism, radical jihadists, and other efforts that deny Israel’s right to exist and thrive.
Le Pen ushered in a new era for the FN making the party more mainstream appealing not only to the political right but to all French who feel reform is needed in Paris. She has strongly repudiated Neo-Nazism and Radical Islam, and other extremist movements.
Now, French presidential contenders make Washington a must-go to show that they’re able to make like equals with the denizens of the world’s last superpower; I remember Nicolas Sarkozy showing up a few months prior to his 2007 election.
According to this London Daily Telegraph story, however, Le Pen has been frustrated in setting up meaningful meetings. No one who matters wants to touch her.
Apparently so — to the extent that her release actually boasts the following:
She will also take a tour of Capitol Hill meeting with congressional leaders, including Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), to discuss Franco-American relations and economic policies.
Kucinich and Paul have three things in common:
— They’ve both run quixotic campaigns for their party’s presidential nod;
— They’re both notorious for breaking with their party’s ranks, and taking the resultant marginalization in stride;
— They’re both bottom-ranked in terms of pro-Israel records. Paul wants to cut funding to the Jewish state.
I guess Le Pen is taking whatever she can get.
* Unlike dad, she gets the number — six million — right. But "unnecessarily lost their lives"? What does that mean? Shades of Bertrand Russell ickiness, and points for whomever knows what I’m talking about.